BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Police-Public Contacts
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The nature and extent of contact between police officers and residents varies by whether the contact was initiated by the police or by the resident. These contacts occur for many reasons: police provide services to community members; residents seek information or report crimes to police officers; residents are passengers or drivers during a traffic stop; police could stop residents in public places for suspicious behavior, make arrests, search residents, their vehicles or their homes, and officers could use or threaten use of physical force.

BJS measures the nature and extent of these contacts by surveying individuals in a nationally representative sample of households. Unlike other measures of police behavior, this survey is based on the reported experiences and perspectives of surveyed residents. It does not require the participation of law enforcement agencies or officers and it captures behavior from many jurisdictions throughout the entire year.

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Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011 STUDY FINDS SOME RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN PERCEPTIONS OF POLICE BEHAVIOR DURING CONTACT WITH THE PUBLIC
  Press Release

Requests for Police Assistance, 2011 STUDY FINDS SOME RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN PERCEPTIONS OF POLICE BEHAVIOR DURING CONTACT WITH THE PUBLIC
 

Requests for Police Assistance, 2011 Examines the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who contacted police to request assistance in 2011.
  Press Release | PDF (952K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 33K)

Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011 Examines the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who were stopped by police during traffic and street stops, and their perceptions of police behavior and response during these encounters.
  Press Release | PDF (1.8M) | ASCII file (52K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 64K)

Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008 Presents findings from a nationally representative survey of nearly 60,000 residents age 16 or older about their contact with police during the 12 months prior to the interview.
  Press Release | PDF (932K) | ASCII file (48K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 51K) | Codebooks and Datasets
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008 CONTACTS BETWEEN POLICE AND THE PUBLIC DECLINED FROM 2002 TO 2008
  Press Release
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Arrest-Related Deaths in the United States, 2003-2005 Presents the first findings from the law enforcement collection of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), which is the largest resource of information ever collected on arrest-related deaths.
  Press Release | PDF (157K) | ASCII file (29K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 22K) | To order paper version
Part of the Arrest-Related Deaths Series

Contacts between Police and the Public, 2005 "Police stop white, black and Hispanic drivers at similar rates according to Department of Justice report"
  Press Release | More information about this release

Contacts between Police and the Public, 2005 Presents data over a 12-month period on the nature and characteristics of face-to-face contacts between residents of the U.S. and the police. The report also provides demographic and other characteristics of residents involved in traffic stops and use of force incidents.
  Press Release | PDF (305K) | ASCII file (32K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 21K) | To order paper version
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Citizen Complaints about Police Use of Force "Citizens complained more than 26,000 times in 2002 about excessive police force - Evidence in about 8% of complaints justified disciplinary action"
  Press Release | More information about this release